Ramsay joins Lotus F1 Junior Teamposted in F102 | 04 | 2014

    THE LATEST TALENTED young racer to forge a career as a result of the Scottish motorsport conveyor belt is Gregor Ramsay. The 17-year-old from East Kilbride has been signed to the Lotus F1 Junior Team.

    A former karting champion, Ramsay contested last year's Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS series. This year, under the tutelage of Lotus F1, he will graduate to the FRenault 2.0 Eurocup.

    And that means racing on some of the famous Formula One tracks, including Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, Germany's Nurburgring, the Hungaroring in Hungary, plus Paul Ricard and Jerez, in France and Spain respectively.

    Ramsay will compete with the Belgian-based KTR team run by former racing ace Kurt Mollekens.

    The quietly-spoken young Scot first attracted attention three years ago when Ferrari Driver Academy manager, Luca Baldisserri — the ex-F1 Ferrari chief engineer, who at one stage looked after Michael Schumacher's car — was impressed with Ramsay’s performances at the academy on the legendary Fiorano test track.

    That led to the Scot becoming the UK’s youngest driver in international single-seater competition when he made his Formula Abarth debut in 2011 at Monza, aged just 15 years and three months.

    Related: Imola podium for Gregor Ramsay

    The famous Lotus name has begun to reclaim some of its lustre in recent years, but the significance for Ramsay of pulling on the famous badge is huge: Lotus, of course, will always be synonymous with Scotland's iconic double F1 world champ Jim Clark.

    “I'm absolutely delighted to join the Lotus F1 Junior Team,” Ramsay, whose single-seater racing career has been assisted by Colin and Chris Weir, beamed, “especially as such famous Scots have flown the Saltire with Lotus in the past.

    "Lotus’s F1 headquarters at Enstone, near Oxford, is mindblowing, with its research facilities, wind-tunnel, F1 simulator and all the engineering departments.

    “It’s unbelievable when you look back to when I was nine-years-old and starting in karts.

    "We had to travel a lot, and from my two years in Cadets I was either racing throughout Britain or testing at my local track, Larkhall, with the West of Scotland Kart Club, in rain, hail, sun or snow. We never missed a weekend.

    “This is a new chapter in my career and I'm looking forward to representing Lotus F1 Junior Team, and of course I will do my very best.

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    "I would like to say a massive thank you to my new management team, whose trust played a big part in giving me this opportunity, and to everyone who has helped me in my karting career and early days in car racing.

    “I would also like to thank Colin and Chris Weir, and Jim McColl of Clyde Blowers who have done so much for my career. I could not have done this without them.”

    Ramsay is one of only nine drivers gathered from six countries, who form the new Lotus F1 Junior Team. He's also the only young Brit in the squad.

    "The future of our sport is reliant on new talent," Federico Gastaldi, Lotus F1 Team deputy team principal, said, "and the roster we have for this season has great potential.

    "Romain Grosjean, Pastor Maldonado and Charles Pic have all benefitted from the young driver programme created in Enstone, so it's obvious that this scheme can help these drivers attain the very best results”

    Ramsay, who has already completed a number of test and truing sessions at the ear's Enstone HQ, will make his FRenault 2.0 Eurocup race debut at Aragon in Spain on April 26/27.

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    Jim McGill

     

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